Last week, I explained that I’d recently gone to church camp where we studied the Beatitudes. Since I believe that whatever the Bible says about how we should be outside the bedroom applies to how we should be inside the bedroom, I wondered if these principles had any application to the marriage bed. I then covered my take on “poor in spirit.”
Here’s the passage of the Beatitudes found at the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Remembering that the Greek word for blessed, makarios, carries the connotation of being happy, fortunate, or favored, it seems odd that the second Beatitude talks about mourning. Isn’t that the opposite of being happy?
Perhaps in this case, blessed or fortunate really is a better perspective. Because mourning is bad enough, but doing so without comfort?
I’ve often thought what a struggle it must be for atheists to lose a loved one, believing that’s the last time they’ll ever see that person. But I have the comfort of believing that this isn’t the end — so despite my sadness, I’m blessed to have this confidence in God.
I’m not sure how mourning could apply to our marital intimacy, but I’ll take a stab about some options in which divine comfort could play a role.
For those who mourn that sex in marriage has not produced the children they desired. One of the reasons for sexual intimacy in marriage is procreation, and those who’ve had the challenge of infertility know how that pain affects their marriage bed. What was once viewed as an act of intimacy can begin to feel like a chore and the bedroom a reminder of unfulfilled dreams.
I truly believe that God is there with you in those times, and that husband and wife can do so much to comfort one another. Including through sexual intimacy, just for the sake of that connection and closeness. I haven’t been through this, so I’m not going to pretend to know what it feels like. But it’s important to find comfort, in God and in your spouse. Continue to remember that sexual intimacy blesses you in other ways.
And I sincerely pray that the child you long for becomes part of your family someday. As Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
For those who mourn that sex isn’t all they expected it to be. It’s okay to grieve that things didn’t go the way you anticipated. Perhaps you have pain during intercourse or your husband turned out to be the lower-drive spouse or simply finding time to engage is a challenge. Let’s get past the anger and frustration that we sometimes show outwardly and realize that we’re actually mourning the loss of the smooth sex life we desired and expected.
But there is comfort. Many of us authors and speakers do what we do in hopes of giving you answers and practical advice on how to proceed. Christian support organizations and counselors can help you work through issues. Mentors and friends can provide a private ear, a warm hug, and a heartfelt prayer for you as you struggle forward.
There’s also comfort in knowing that God wants so much more for you. He is in your corner and longs for you to take hold of His blessings in the marriage bed. Let His tenderness and hope infuse you with the comfort you need.
For those who mourn their sexual sin. If you’ve committed sexual sin in the past, or you’re engaging currently in practices you know are against God’s will, you need to fess up and admit your wrongdoing. When you really feel the depth of your sin, there is mourning.
Just read Psalm 51, written by David after his sexual sin with Bathsheba. Here are the first four verses:
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.
That’s a guy mourning about what he did, feeling true remorse.
But indeed, there is comfort. When David and Bathsheba’s son died, 2 Samuel 12:24 says, “Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her.” And the rest of the verse says, “She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him.” God did not hold that sin against David forever. By no means! Mourn the past, repent in the present, and let God give you comfort.
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.”
What other applications for the marriage bed do you see from this verse?
14 thoughts on “The Beatitudes in the Bedroom: Those Who Mourn”
Our married daughter, who soon will be 50, has mourned for about two weeks every May for the son she lost 21 years ago, when he was only five days old. Little Zach died in the James Whitcomb Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, BTW.
I know what it’s like to comfort a wife in grief. know, too, that women, grief and sex don’t necessarily go together. Each time I read this passage I can see a couple of things going on. Bathsheba wanted a child to replace the one they lost (our daughter did get a son, after two more girls–he’s now 16). But was she able to enjoy the lovemaking with David?
I guess the important lesson here is that wives and their husbands need to learn that women and men respond differently when one is tired, in grief or just out of sorts. And in compassion we each need to learn to appreciate and comfort the other. Sometimes an hour or so of “comforting” will cause a wife to want to make love. Sometimes not.
I have been comforted by sex in my marriage, and written about it: 4 Ways Sex Can Comfort in Crisis or Grief
(Oh, and I don’t think Bathsheba merely wanted another child. You can’t replace a lost child.)
I went to your blog, 4 WAYS SEX CAN COMFORT IN CRISIS OR GRIEF. And . . . WOW! I read the comments (all 28 of them). Most of them agree with you 100%. One male respondent did sound a wee bit skeptical. So I guess it’s women who, when growing up, have heard a lot of that line that “Men are after only one thing” such women may find it hard to receive a hub’s comfort, when he’s also interested in sex (?)
So glad you posted that link to your other article on comfort. To anyone intrigued by the current article, may I say READ THE OTHER ONE, TOO!
Thank you J! You definitely, absolutely cannot replace a child yout have lost! (We have 3 boys, one in Heaven and his 2 little brothers on the earth)
I had my baby boy Nathan James almost 6 months ago. We knew from 11 weeks into the pregnancy that we probably wouldn’t have him long. He had trisomy 18, a chromosomal abnormality that’s very uncommon. We were strongly advised to terminate but I carried him to 36 weeks and we had 2 short hours to love on him with our 3 other kids, ages 15, 17, and 19.
From just a few weeks after we lost him lovemaking has been one of my greatest sources of comfort. It takes away the pain for just a little bit. I’m 41 and while we were so very excited about this sweet surprise, we won’t have any more children. It’s just too risky no matter how much my arms ache for my little boy. But I’m so thankful God has provided this comfort for us both.
(And J you’re right that my sweet Nathan and any other baby can never ever be replaced.)
Oh, Shelly. I’m so saddened about your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. May you be filled with comfort!
I first read this as “blessed are those that MOAN”
🙂 he he he
That’s a different kind of post! Lol.
Last year my husband battled Stage Four cancer. Even though we had to adapt how frequently we had sex, how strenuous it was, and a couple other things, we made sure it happened as often as he was able. For the most part, that was a sad time in our lives, both of us were mourning a lot of things that the cancer had taken from us, individually and as a couple. Love-making was a huge comfort and bond for us during his illness and treatment. It was a time we could interact and touch as husband and wife, not as patient and caregiver. It was a time neither of us had to think about cancer, if only for awhile. It was some normalcy in the midst of insanity. It comforted us both to know that even as cancer and treatment ravaged his body, I still desired him sexually, and even as he was exhausted, he still desired me. Thank God our mourning was turned into a different kind of comfort when his most recent PET scan came back cancer-free, much to the shock of his oncologist and the rest of his team.
Thanks for sharing. I’m sorry you went through this, but praying that your husband remains cancer-free!
Many of us have mourned our spouse’s sexual sin. That’s a really dark place. I’m so thankful the comfort God offers is real.
But the trouble is, few people who would claim to be admirers of Jesus even among those who would call themselves “believers” – take the Be-Attitudes seriously as ethical guidelines.
Pingback: The Beatitudes in the Bedroom: Pure in Heart | Hot, Holy & Humorous
Comments are closed.